Parks Canada

Parks Canada

July 22, 2009 12:26 ET

Government of Canada Celebrates the Historical Significance of Gabrielle Roy and Gabrielle-Roy House

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - July 22, 2009) - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today celebrated the national historic significance of Gabrielle Roy, and Gabrielle-Roy House, which he designated a National Historic Person of Canada and a National Historic Site of Canada on the recommendation from the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

"The recognition of the historic significance of both Gabrielle Roy and Gabrielle-Roy House is a lasting tribute to the author and her tremendous literary legacy," said Minister Prentice. "This commemoration is an example of the commitment of our government to protect and preserve the heritage treasures we have across our great country for present and future generations to appreciate and enjoy."

"Gabrielle Roy's mastery of the art of story-telling, her profound humanity, and her limpid prose have assured her an enduring place in the literary landscape," said Ms. Shelley Glover, Member of Parliament for St. Boniface. "The year 2009 marks the 100th anniversary of her birth, and still, Gabrielle Roy remains a very pertinent part of Canadian literature."

Roy pioneered social realism in 1945 with her first novel, Bonheur d'occasion (The Tin Flute), published in 1945, which presented a harshly realistic picture of the lives of many urban Quebeckers. This first novel was a resounding success, and honoured Gabrielle Roy with fame, the Governor General's Literary Award and the French Prix Femina-a first for a Canadian novel.

The family home where Gabrielle Roy was born in 1909 and where she lived until 1937 was the heart of a vibrant world of people and events that deeply inspired her writing. This otherwise typical middle-class urban house of the period was a special place to which the author remained attached all her life, and which she described and idealized in several of her works, particularly Street of Riches (Rue Deschambault).

"We are very proud to have obtained historic recognition for both Gabrielle Roy herself, and for the home where she was born," Jacqueline Blay, president of the Board of Directors of Gabrielle-Roy House. "This double designation highlights the efforts of hundreds of people who, for years, have been working hard to restore and promote Gabrielle Roy's house. Each and every Franco-Manitoban is rightfully proud of this tremendous and well-deserved honour."

Parks Canada works to ensure that Canada's historic and natural heritage is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education, appreciation and inspired discovery of all Canadians, today and in the future.

Also available on the Internet at under Media room.

Contact Information

  • Parks Canada
    Michele Monette
    Media Relations Officer
    Corporate Communications Branch